Christmas comes early to Gainesville when Christmas on Green Street takes over the downtown area Dec. 7.
The annual Victorian-themed event will shut down Green Street at 3:45 p.m. with the free event starting a half-hour later.
Gainesville Newcomers Club members dressed in Victorian Age clothing will be stationed on the luminary-lit streets and porches to recount the history of each home. Houses will be decorated for the holiday while others will be open for visitors.
“It’s wonderful to see that element of the past,” Quinlan Visual Arts Center Executive Director Amanda McClure said.
The parade begins at 4:45 p.m. with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus leading the way. Following the man in red will be antique cars and decorated floats competing to win the best Christmas float award.
Choirs, bands, dance groups, strolling magicians, face painters, balloon artists and jugglers will stroll along the street to entertain tourists. Plus carriage rides and miniature train rides will tempt participants to take a ride.
The Quinlan Arts Center will host a children’s art party, allowing the kids to decorate ornaments and snack on cookies and refreshments for free. For adults, the center is hosting the finecraft market, “Handcrafted for the Holidays” with handmade art on sale from Dec. 6-7.
The event will last until 7:15 p.m. and happen rain or shine.
The yearly lighting of the native holly tree on the corner of Green Street and Academy Street will be at 7 p.m.
The tree is dedicated to Mary John Dunlap Mitchell and has been kept by the Rotary Club since 1982.
“It’s just a really wonderful sense of community,” McClure said.